The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.
Mikis and the Donkey
is the 2015 Batchelder Award winner. The book was written by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman, translated by Laura Watkinson and published Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Mikis’ simple, quiet life on the Greek island of Corfu is upended when his grandfather surprises him by buying a donkey. During the following year, Mikis’ adventures with the donkey show the village what it means to care for one another.
“This charming book has remarkable depth. Vividly set in a tiny island village, the universal themes will be relevant to all readers,” said Batchelder Award Committee Chair Diane Janoff.
2015 Honor Books
Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust
, written by Loic Dauvillier, illustrated by Marc Lizano, color by Greg Salsedo, translated by Alexis Siegel, and published by First Second
In this evocative graphic novel, a grandmother recounts her childhood experiences hiding from the Nazis in World War II France. Surrounded by cruelty, Dounia also benefited from the exceptional kindness and courage of her protectors. The telling of her story to her grandchild brings healing and hope.
“This subtle but powerfully illustrated graphic novel will capture readers with its gripping account of heroism in the truly dire circumstances of the Holocaust,” said Janoff.
Nine Open Arms
, written by Benny Lindelauf, illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova, translated by John Nieuwenhuizen and published by Enchanted Lion Books
In this intricately plotted book, Fing’s loving but fractious family moves into a new house outside of town and gradually discovers a “tragical tragedy” concerning the mysterious man living in the hedge. Combining elements of historical fiction, mystery and magical realism with large doses of humor, this book enthralls.
“Readers will be enchanted by the indelibly drawn characters, the rich language and the interwoven narrative,” said Janoff.
Members of the 2015 Batchelder Award Committee are: Chair Diane Janoff, Queens Library, N.Y.; Sarah Hagge, Chicago, Ill.; Celia Holm, Austin (Texas) Public Library; Elsworth Rockefeller, Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library; and Sara-Jo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, N.Y.